Future-ready IT, for future-ready Government

Dell corrects impression as ‘hardware only’ IT supplier, strengthens recall with key Govt. of West Bengal IT purchase decision makers and influencers, makes a strong pitch for end-to-end solutions expertise to support the state’s roll-out of ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and transformative e-Governance programmes

By:  Vishaal Bhatnagar, AVP, Government and Public Sector Practice, CyberMedia Research

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015 Dell, CMR and WEBEL co-hosted a roundtable for government and public sector decision-makers in eastern India’s cultural, trade & industry and administrative hub, Kolkata. The Dell-sponsored roundtable-cum-panel discussion was held at The Park Kolkata, a short distance away from the seat of government at Writers Building.

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The West Bengal edition of the roundtable was inaugurated by Shri Upender Jit Singh, Managing Director, WEBEL and Chairman, WEBEL Group of Companies.

Shri Singh was welcomed by Rajat Ganguly, General Manager, Eastern India, Dell and Raman Bountra, Public Business Leader-India, Dell.

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Shri Upender Jit Singh was joined on stage by Shri Amit Chaudhuri, Special Secretary, Deptt. of Planning, Govt. of West Bengal, Shri Garg, DDG-IT, Ordnance Factory Board, Shri Pradeep Thekutte, AVP-IT, Balmer Lawrie and Company, and Shri Debopam Raha, Technical Director, IGS, KPMG India to light the inaugural lamp and declare the event formally open.

Shri Upender Jit Singh spoke at length about the e-Governance initiatives of Govt. of West Bengal that WEBEL was supporting in the capacity of the state’s nodal agency. He particularly emphasised the game changing potential of the national Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), ‘100 Smart Cities’ and ‘Make in India’ programmes. According to Mr. Singh, West Bengal was set to undergo a makeover with the establishment a large electronics manufacturing industrial base slated to give a big fillip to employment opportunities.

Raman Bountra, Business Leader – Government Sales, Dell India presented Dell’s viewpoint on implementing the right technology-enabled solutions to deliver good governance across a range of departments and functions. He highlighted Dell’s strategy over the last many months to acquire companies that had developed innovative IP/solutions, integrating the same with Dell infrastructure/ platforms, and thereby delivering wholesome, robust solutions to its customers. Raman shared case studies of successful Dell solution implementations from public sector organisations in India and around the world.
Debopam Raha, Technical Director, Infrastructure and Government Services, KPMG presented an overview on the goals and objectives of the ‘Digital India’ programme. He described the ‘Five Pillars’ of the programme as being Connectivity, Platforms, Applications, Data Centres & Cyber Security, and Emerging Technologies. Debopam further highlighted some of the key e-Governance initiatives taken by leading states such as Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal, and some of the newer initiatives such as ‘3DEXPERIENCity’, Mobile Governance and ‘Smart Village’. He stressed on the potentially transformative role of digital interventions in Education & Skill Development, Infrastructure, Livelihood and Capacity Building initiatives in rural areas, Social Media generated intelligence, Public Transportation and Revenue Administration. Debopam closed by sharing an overview of KPMG’s Platform for the “Public Sector of the Future”, which lays stress on the need for close cooperation and collaboration between government, industry associations and consulting firms to improve all-round digital availability, accessibility and usability.

Panel Discussion-cum-Q&A Session

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Panelists: Shri Upender Jit Singh, MD and Chairman, WEBEL Group of Companies; Shri Motiur Rahman, Technical Director, National Informatics Centre, West Bengal; Shri Debopam Raha, Technical Director, IGS, KPMG India; Shri Raman Bountra, Public Business Leader-India, Dell and Shri Anuj Joshi, Geo Lead, Enterprise Solutions Business, Dell India.

In the audience: Shri Amit Chaudhuri, Special Secretary, Deptt. of Planning, Govt. of West Bengal, Shri Garg, DDG-IT, Ordnance Factory Board, Shri Pradeep Thekutte, AVP-IT, Balmer Lawrie and Company and other invited delegates.

Moderator: Apalak Ghosh, Lead Analyst, Emerging Technologies and Senior Manager, CMR

Mr. Upender Jit Singh – Mr. Singh elaborated how Webel has been instrumental in bringing about ICT infrastructure in the state of WB, and the fact that the timing is ripe to work on various digital transformation projects. He went on to add that there is a conscious decision to make WB a hub for ICT to cater to the needs of eastern part of the country. Areas of focus were highlighted as cyber security, inclusive development programmes to cater to rural and urban needs of the state. Mr. Singh laid special emphasis on project NOFN and its implications.

Mr. Motiur Rahman – Mr. Rahman spoke about the various e-Gov projects that NIC has successfully implemented in the state, highlighting the 2011 elections where through an SMS the voter could get their voting details. He stressed on how to introduce e-Governance in the true sense keeping all the aspects of service models G2C, G2G, G2E, G2B and the interoperability framework in view. By interoperability he was referring to how police, judiciary, home departments and others can work in tandem if proper systems are in place.

Mr. Debopam Raha – Mr. Raha emphasized the importance of Building Digital infrastructure is a key for India to achieve the ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ vision. But Mr. Raha said the process of digital transformation was not the work of the government alone. This would need an equal partnership with private parties which would include IT companies, consulting firms to formulate the road map along with government. Realizing breakthrough success in digital business requires not only forward-thinking strategies but also a transformation of the underlying functions and organizations. Ultimately, it still comes down to the basics: people, processes, and systems.

Audience Participation

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The event was well received by the audience comprising senior and mid-level officers of Govt. of West Bengal, NIC, Ordnance Factory Board, Balmer Lawrie and Co. and other PSUs based out of Kolkata.

Audience Questions – The audience raised queries related to the security aspects of data centre management, virtualisation, cloud computing, and adoption roadmap for ‘open source’ technologies.

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Panelists and Dell team were able to handle all queries raised by the audience. Dell team assured they were willing to take the discussions forward with delegates who wanted to explore feasibility of adopting new IT solutions to achieve their ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ and e-Governance goals.

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